Posted by: kmgib | December 4, 2008

Worst Taxi Rides

A Malaysian survey of 200 tourists, from 30 different countries, found that Malaysia had the worst taxi rides out of 23 countries. I don’t know if Egypt and China were included in that survey, but they would be pretty high on my list for worst taxi rides. In Egypt I feared for my life because drivers were swerving in and out of lanes at high speeds and most cars had several severe dents in them.

In China, I was terrified because the drivers did not look when switching lanes, they ran red lights, and they just kind of drifted in and out of lanes.

Check out the slide show of the worst taxi rides.

But one problem in every city I have been to is getting scammed on a taxi ride.

In Portugal, Morocco and Egypt, you have to negotiate the price you will pay before you get in the cab, and often when you arrive, they will try to charge you more than the agreed upon rate.

taxi

In cities that have meters, like China, Spain and the United States, drivers will take you on the long route to where you want to go or on particularly slow streets to charge you more money. When I went to the Olympic Volleyball Venue in China, it should have taken less than half an hour and no more than 50RMB or about $7, but my driver drove me all over Beijing, and it ended up taking one hour and more than 110RMB or $16. And in Spain, the driver even told me the ride to the airport was free (claiming to be the hotel shuttle service). Not only did I have to pay, I had to pay double what the meter said because it was a trip to the airport. So a ride that was less than ten minutes ended up costing me more than $17.

taxi-scam

 

Here’s a few ways you can avoid getting scammed or at least reduce the risk…

warning

1. Know the currency and customs.

2. Ask your hotel consierge or an information person at the airport how much it should cost to get to your hotel.

3. Know how much it should cost, and ask the driver how much he/she expects it will cost before you get in the cab. If it is considerably more, find another cab.

4. Behave yourself.

5. Learn from previous bad experiences.

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